I've completed a 2.0 mix for a short film, the director wants to take this to a studio to attempt to mix it to 5.1.

The engineer has asked me to give him the pro-tools file, but the audio folder is 13.5gb as it contains some stuff I haven't even used or big files which I've cut down, I don't want to give him that, it's pointless and a waste of space.

I tried an OMF but I couldn't get the automation to copy across + it didn't copy what effects I used in the channel.?

I'll tackle him not having these effects after :)

What can I do?

I am using pro-tools 9.

3 Answers 3


Save As.

Select all unused. Remove (don't delete).

Make a new session and import session data with "Consolidate from source media" enabled with a handle of like 5 seconds or so? (it asks for milliseconds so put 5000)

  • right in front of me, stupid me, I was looking at save copy in as a solution... thanks Utopia Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 3:45
  • The reason I mentioned the other method is because LE and HD/Native w/ Toolkit have different/limited Import Session Data capabilities and with the "Save Copy In" method you will retain everything. You just have to have the spare initial space to cover duplicating the whole session. That is how sessions are typically backed up and archived properly as well. Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 4:37
  • Totally! Both methods are valid. I figured out the other way early on in my career because it keeps the file IDs in tact and doesn't create new files
    – Utopia
    Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 6:14

Actually, you should do a "Save Copy In" first... don't "save as" unless you want to permanently get rid of your unused files (which I highly advise against until something is long over). If you only do a "Save As" all it does is create a new Pro Tools file and it still references the same audio files in the Audio Files folder as your previous session and you will delete the files not appearing in the timeline.

When you do this "Save Copy In" (which is how you should/can actually create an exact duplicate of a session), choose "All Audio Files" to be copied with it. You may want to also check plug-in settings and some of the other options just in case you didn't print all your effects or mix elements down, especially if they're disregarding your 2.0 mix and will now be mixing for surround.

Then open that new session you created, once open hit Shift + CMD +U (mac) / Shift + Ctrl + U (PC) to select unused regions. Then Hit Shift + CMD/Ctrl + B to "Clear Selected". It will then ask you if you want to "remove from session" or permanently "Delete" from disk. When you select "Delete" hold down "option/alt" and it will prevent you from having to click "OK" over and over a million times. That will reduce your file size as much as it can be reduced.

  • That's a good way, too, and I thought of that, but he specified that he wanted to send it with handles and not the full audio files he used so it would end up being smaller. Import Session Data is the only command that I know of that can do this and import audio files used with handles instead of the whole parent audio file. Also, it doesn't permanently delete the files in my method, which is why I said to Remove and not Delete ;-)
    – Utopia
    Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 4:32
  • I just tried this method as well as utopias and both worked, thanks again! Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 4:34
  • yeah I removed not deleted, I first saved as a new session, removed unused from that, save, created a new session, imported that one and saved again to create a whole new project folder. worked fine. Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 4:35
  • Also, for proper archival I'd rather go with "Save Copy In" than Import with handles. Too risky in our line of business/art. Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 5:47
  • I hesitate to save session copy in when archiving because all of the file IDs change because it's making totally new files from scratch, hence the music stems and things turned over from SFX or Music production will not relink properly if you have to rebuild it (i.e. something goes wrong and the audio files are corrupted and you only have those audio files in the music and SFX sessions...) Also, the plug-in automation data and settings and assignments are totally imported if you choose to do so with Import Session Data. It's also only for the copy to send to the studio house - that's why I
    – Utopia
    Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 6:09

When I'm prepping for a mix, I create a new blank session and use Import Session Data to bring in only the tracks that I need. Not only does this ensure that extraneous media doesn't balloon up the data size of your session, it also means that you're not bringing in any material that's on bench/work or OMF tracks that can add a lot of unnecessary files.

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